Have An Accident While Working At Sea? The Different Acts That Provide Compensation For Your Injuries

Posted on: 15 June 2017

If you work on a ship of any kind and are injured, it is not the simple matter of applying for worker's compensation the way land-working employees have. Instead, you are covered by two separate acts, the Longshore and Harbour Worker's Compensation Act (LHWC) and the Jones Act. Each act has its own qualifying parameters and offers different amounts and varieties of compensation. To expedite receiving the funds you need to pay medical bills and your living expenses, make sure you file the right type of claim. Here is a bit of information about each.


The LHWC covers all maritime employees whether the injury occurs at sea, in the harbor, or on the docks. In addition, it does not require that the injury is caused by someone else's negligence or due to faulty equipment. If you are injured in any way or become ill, that is directly related t or due to the work you perform in a maritime setting, you will qualify for this type of compensation. You will receive payment for all your medical bills, including any that are expected to come in the future, and a portion of your wages. If the injury is permanent you may also qualify for disability benefits.

Jones Act

The Jones Act covers employees who would be considered "seamen." This means that you must spend at least 30% of your work time on a ship or boat. In addition, you must be able to prove that the injury was caused by someone or something else. This could include hazards on the vessel, not having enough people working to perform the task that was being performed when the accident occurred, a lack of training for the task or on the equipment, or faulty equipment. You will receive payment for your medical bills and wages and have the option of suing your employer for negligence. This option is not available under the LHWC.

If you are not sure of which Act your injury falls under, contact an experienced maritime injury attorney. While filing under the Jones Act may mean more money, if the lawyer feels there is not enough proof to show fault it would be better to go with the more black and white option of a claim with the LHWC. The most important part is having the money needed to regain your health and keep your family financially stable while you are not able to work.